Is Emirates Ready To Respond To Subsidy Allegations?
According to a report in emirates247.com, the rhetoric of Emirates Airlines President Tim Clark appears to suggest the carrier is drawing closer to responding to U.S. allegations that the three major Gulf carriers receive government subsidies which create an imbalance in the marketplace.
Speaking as part of a panel discussion at the Arabian Travel Market, Clark said, “They took two years to put forth this report; we will take the time to respond to these allegations and wield a sledgehammer to that report.”
American, Delta and United airlines commissioned a 55-page report in which it alleged that Emirates, Etihad and Qatar airlines have received a combined $42 billion in subsidies over a 10-year period from the governments of the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, respectively.
The U.S. carries gave the report to the Obama Administration and successfully lobbied the government to look into the allegations and consider changes to the Open Skies Agreement.
According to emirates247.com, the Gulf airlines have been given 60 days to respond.
“The question of subsidy is a non-starter,” Clark said. “[Emirates] has never been subsidised. It has never received any kind of special treatment from the government of Dubai.”
Clark challenged the U.S. airlines to show definitive proof.
“I often say, if you can prove these subsidy allegations, then show me,” Clark told Emirates247.com. “Equally, if you are wrong, and we show these as false claims, will you resign? What will you do when rebuttal comes back at you? In the end, we will deal with it. We will respond in our own time and when we are ready. There is nothing in the bilateral air services agreement that requires us to prescribe to timelines. I hope the U.S. government will wait until we are ready.”
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